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Published: Thursday, 3/29/2012

Easter arrives early with visit from 'Sister'

Colleen Moore stars as Sister in 'Sister's Easter Catechism: Will My Bunny Go To Heaven?' Saturday night at the Valentine Theatre. Colleen Moore stars as Sister in 'Sister's Easter Catechism: Will My Bunny Go To Heaven?' Saturday night at the Valentine Theatre.

What better way to warm up for Easter than laughing until your belly hurts and your face cramps up from smiling so much.

Sister's Easter Catechism: Will My Bunny Go To Heaven? will answer a lot more questions when it fills the Valentine Theatre with laughter Saturday night.

Starring Colleen Moore as Sister, the production tackles some of the season's most important questions, such as "Why isn't Easter the same day every year like Christmas?" and "Will my bunny go to heaven?" It also unearths the origins of Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, Easter bonnets, Easter baskets, and even Easter Peeps.

As always with the Catechism productions, audience participation is a must. Moore, who lives in New York, has played the role of Sister in national tours and off-Broadway for several years.

"Sister's Easter Catechism: Will My Bunny Go To Heaven?" is 8 p.m. Saturday at the Valentine Theatre, 410 Adams St. Tickets range from $35 to $47 and can be purchased at the Valentine box office, by calling 419-242-2787, or at valentinetheatre.com.

'Beauty and the Beast'

One of the most magical Disney tales ever, Beauty and the Beast features dancing candlesticks, pratfalls, classic music, a love story, and, of course, a beast with a heart of gold. Theater League will bring its production of the tale of a common woman who finds herself held captive by a tortured nobleman Thursday-Sunday at the Stranahan Theater.

The six-performance run will include matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated film, the Broadway production has played to more than 35 million people worldwide.

It features fantastic characters such as Belle and the Beast, along with lavish sets and costumes, and production numbers based around the title song, "Be Our Guest," and several other songs that are part of the consciousness of anyone who's seen the animated Disney classic.

"Beauty and the Beast" will be 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $34.50 to $74.50 and are available at the Stranahan box office, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., by calling 419-381-8851, and at Ticketmaster.com.


Ohio Northern University students will put on their director hats this weekend for three one-act plays in the Freed Center for the Performing Arts' Stambaugh Studio Theatre on the Ada campus.

The first play will be an abbreviated version of Charles Mee's Hotel Cassiopeia directed by Morgan Greene, a sophomore theater arts/theater major from Garfield Heights, Ohio.

The play follows collage artist Joseph Cornell, whose life and style of art inspire the action.

The second performance will be a shortened one-act version of David Hare's The Permanent Way, directed by Robert Lynn, a senior theater arts/theater major from Oregon. This political play recounts through the first-hand accounts of civilians and others what happened in England when the British government decided to privatize the country's railways.

The final one-act play is a comedy by Jane Willis, Men Without Dates, which will be directed by Alex McGregor, a senior communication arts major from Nashua, Iowa. Men Without Dates tells the story of three men searching for the correct path to peace as they handle the difficulties in their lives together.

Ohio Northern University's Freed Center for the Performing Arts will present three student-directed one-act plays in the Stambaugh Studio Theatre 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and non-ONU students, and $9 for children. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Phone orders are accepted at 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at www.freedcenter.com.

'Inherit the Wind'

The classic courtroom drama Inherit The Wind will be presented by the Monroe Community Players this weekend.

The play is a dramatization of the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial" of 1925 when a young Tennessee teacher is prosecuted for teaching the theory of evolution in a public school.

The play features eloquent rhetorical flourishes from defense attorney Henry Drummond (Norb Nowak) and Matthew Harrison Brady (David P Wahr), the failed presidential candidate (and famed orator) as prosecutor.

The cast also features Ion Hallahan, Ron Roberts, Paula Loop, Barry Hartmann, Lauri Hehl, Michael Vandeginste, Gary Jenkins, Lonny Aldridge, and others.

Inherit The Wind will be at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at 44 S. Monroe St. in Monroe. Tickets are $17 for adults and $13 for seniors and children. Information: 734-241-7900.

Please send theater items at least two weeks in advance to jnjaim@theblade.com.

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